13 Reasons to Get a Library Card

Alexis Millar is the former Digital Marketing Specialist at the Edmonton Public Library.

One card, one million possibilities. 

When you sign up for a library card, it doesn't just mean books. It means free classes and events, digital resources, movies, streaming music and television and anything else you could possibly imagine. We are here to help unlock endless possibilities. Oh, did I tell you it's completely, 100 per cent FREE.

So what are you waiting for? If you don’t already have an EPL card, sign up now, opens a new window—it takes less than five minutes!

1. Stream Movies and TV Shows

While you may know that you can sign out DVDs, opens a new window and Blu-rays, opens a new window from EPL, did you know that you can also stream movies and other videos?

Easily access popular content on hoopla, such as Hamilton: One Shot to Broadway.

Meanwhile, Kanopy is home to documentaries, opens a new window, Canadian cinema, opens a new window, independent films, opens a new window, world cinema, opens a new window and classic movies, opens a new window. We also have Kanopy Kids so the whole family can enjoy a night of age-appropriate flicks. While you can watch on a computer, tablet or mobile device, both services also have Apple TV apps. 

Who needs Netflix, when you’ve got a library card?

2. Learn a New Language

In addition to free programs and resources for English language learners, EPL offers online language learning tools that’ll have you speaking a second (or third, or fourth…) language in no time. 

Choose from dozens of different languages and skill levels—whether you’re dedicated to becoming fluent or just want to learn enough to get by on your next trip—using AV2 World Languages, Pronunciator or Mango Language Learning, opens a new window.

We also have a world languages collection, opens a new window with books, newspapers, magazines and other items available in a range of languages. Learn more about our language offerings, opens a new window.

3. Play Video Games

Whether you’re a Red Dead Redemption fan or Mario Kart is more your speed, EPL has a ton of video games, opens a new window in our catalogue.

We’ve got games for you to borrow, ranging from classics to the current popular titles—though some may be in high demand, you can place a hold at anytime to secure your place in line. Choose from games for Xbox One, opens a new window, PlayStation 4, opens a new window, Xbox 360, opens a new window, PlayStation 3, opens a new windowNintendo Switch, Wii U, opens a new window and even some Wii games. Grab a controller and your library card and check one out today! 

Don't want to wait for a game or play solo? Head to our Gamerspace in the Stanley A. Milner Library and test it out. You'll be blown away by the space, retro arcades, game selection so that you won't want to leave. 

4. Read Local and International News (and Magazines)

Keep up with the local top headline or see what's going on below the border (or don't) by using your library card to read the latest issues of the Edmonton Journal,, opens a new window the New York Times or other newspapers available online. 

And, that’s not all. We also have access to thousands of newspapers and magazines, opens a new window from around the world, with titles from 100 countries in 60 languages through PressReader, opens a new window, Flipster, opens a new window and more. You'll never have to grab another copy of InStyle or People while standing in line at the grocery store.  

5. Find Your New Favourite Recipe

Take a trip around the world through food. Take your taste buds to Finland and try making Pulla (braided sweet bread) or to Peru and enjoy Arroz con Pato (Peruvian duck with rice). Take a culinary journey with AtoZ World Food!, opens a new window

Learn more about food history and culture while discovering thousands of traditional recipes from 174 countries. Or, check out our huge selection of cookbooks, opens a new window. Many are available in both physical and eBook formats.

We also created some videos to help those avid bakers out there. You can learn how to make sourdough and other artisan breads with our step-by-step video tutorials. 

6. Brush Up on Your Skills

You can learn just about ANYTHING online. Tackle new software, bring your business skills up to snuff, improve your digital competencies, master accounting and more. With thousands of courses available from LinkedIn Learning and Gale Courses, you can do it all.

7. Listen to Your Favourite Titles

Maybe you haven’t got much time for physical books or maybe you feel like staying put at home as much as possible. Either way, we have the solution for you!

You can download and stream audiobooks, opens a new window, right from your phone, with your library card. For example, OverDrive’s Libby app, opens a new window is intuitive, easy-to-use and full of great eAudiobooks (and eBooks too). It's a fun way to get a walk in outside while still enjoying your favourite titles. 

8. Get Reading Recommendations

If you've run out of book to read, NoveList, opens a new window, will help you find authors similar to your favourites, browse read-a-likes or even search for your next read using words that describe the type of book you want to find. 

Our staff are always creating EPL Picks lists to help you discover your next favourite title. 

9. Discover a New Passion

Fancy taking up birdwatching, opens a new window?

Or want to delve into your family history and research genealogy, opens a new window?

Whatever you have in mind, EPL is the perfect place to start a new passion!

10. Explore Music from Around the World

Stream more than 125,000 albums or 1.9 million tracks, including classical music, folk, pop, heavy metal and new age music with Naxos Music Library. 

Prefer your tunes a little closer to home? You can download songs from local bands and musicians completely free with Capital City Records, opens a new window.

11. Dive into Graphic Novels

Black Panther, Guardians of the Galaxy, Wolverine and more—the Marvel gang’s all here with digital comics available instantly, opens a new window on hoopla.

And that’s not all: whether you’re into Avatar: The Last Air Bender or Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren there’s no shortage of popular comics and graphic novels, opens a new window on hoopla.

We have a wide collection of physical copies, opens a new window available to borrow, if that’s more your thing. If you feel like diving a little deeper, we have some hidden manga gems in our collection that I personally enjoy like Fullmetal Alchemist or RWBY

12. Participate in Events

There’s always something happening at EPL! We host a variety of online and in-person classes such as Cree Language classes, Baby Laptime and more. Make sure to register as spots fill up quickly. 

13. Geek Out and Get Creative in the Makerspace

The Makerspaces, opens a new window at our Abbottsfield - Penny McKee, Capilano, Londonderry, Stanley A. Milner and Whitemud Crossing branches have everything you need to unleash your creativity and let your inner geek run free.

Try your hand at creating your own podcast or recording your own music in our soundbooths, opens a new window. We have everything you need to record and edit your masterpiece—you can even borrow instruments! Booths are available at the Stanley A. Milner Library and Whitemud Crossing Branch.

Upgrade your memories with a digital conversion area (scanner and VHS to DVD converter), get your game on with gaming consoles and PCs, play with a green screen, learn to code with Raspberry Pi kits, play with robots and more—all completely free! We also offer 3D printing, heat press, sewing and vinyl cutting for a minor fee (to cover the cost of materials). Some services you will need to call ahead and book as we are limiting the amount of people in our makerspaces and cleaning equipment between customers.

Whatever you like to do, EPL’s here to help you follow your passion. You can always come into our branches and talk to our staff—we love to chat about books (and other resources), share recommendations and help in any way we can! Or browse our wide variety of resources from the comfort of your home. 

Get your FREE library card and get started today!

Sign Up for Free